Mystery History No. 26

Mar 10, 2014

MH-0In the photo to the right, on May 12, 1958, shoppers wait outside the J.W. Robinson Department Store at 777 E. Colorado Blvd. on opening day.





People were lined up around the block:


Here is the 175,000-square-foot store under construction earlier that year:


The ribbon-cutting: left to right are Carter McDonald, manager of the J.W. Robinson store; Pasadena Mayor Seth Miller, Edward R. Valentine, president of the Robinson Building Company and a member of the J.W. Robinson Board of Directors; Mrs. W.F. Valentine; Donald Buckingham, president of the J.W. Robinson Company; and O.K. Earle Jr., president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.


Aerial view:


Designed by William L. Pereira and Charles Luckman, this was the last free-standing Robinson’s in the U.S. because shopping malls were just beginning to be built across the nation.


Robinson’s closed on Jan. 31, 1993. Target Stores acquired the property and reopened it in May 1994.


Many thanks to Pasadena Museum of HistoryPasadena Public Library and the Department Store Museum for the photos.

Copyright © 2014 Ann Erdman


Ann-Erdman-Hat-City-Hall1-175x156Ann Erdman is happily retired after decades of loyal service to the City of Pasadena as Public Information Officer. Her blog can be found at



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